Earlier this summer, the President’s Cabinet announced the creation of the University of Redlands Inclusive Community and Justice Fund as part of a range of new diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. This program dedicates resources previously allocated to the 2020-21 Innovation Fund to promote initiatives focused on inclusion and justice impacting U of R’s students, faculty, staff, and administrators.
“We were impressed by the range of excellent proposals we received,” says Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer Christopher Jones, J.D., “We look forward to their contributions to the University’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.”
All U of R faculty, staff, administrator, and students were eligible to apply for funding. In the selection process, preference was given to those that: 1) directly enhance the effectiveness of University education, services, operations, or policies from which people of color may benefit or 2) enable the University to more effectively express its commitment to access, retention, and support of people of color within its community.
The following seven initiatives were funded or provisionally funded:
- Center for Educational Justice 2.0. Submitted by School of Education Professors Adriana Alvarado, Nicol Howard, Brian Charest, and Mikela Bjork with Naslund Endowed Dean Mario Martinez, this project aims to elevate the work of the Center for Educational Justice to strengthen equity and justice through education. Howard and Alvarado will focus on the Race in Education Analytics Lab, which analyzes big data sets that quantify kindergarten-to-graduate school equity and race constructs, while Charest and Bjork will advance the Inland Empire Educators for Social Justice group, which they started to empower educators, students, and community members with tools to actively work against racism. Award: $9,000.
- Public Square Conversations on Social Justice. Submitted by College of Art and Sciences Professors Jennifer Nelson and Jennifer Tilton, Public Square Conversations will be held weekly and will range from conversations about issues associated with experiences of racial marginalization and campus climate to more academic discussions on racism and social justice topics led by faculty drawing from their research and course content. The series will also include speakers from the wider community. Estimated award: $8,500
- Inclusive Children's Outdoor Play Structure on the Marin Campus. Submitted by April Hewes, who is in the Graduate School of Theology Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program and a CPE intern, this project creates a dedicated space for children residing in student housing (populated mostly by families of color) on the Marin campus to have safe recreation and play areas. “Myself and my children along with other families and students have encountered great marginalization and opposition simply because of our shade of melatonin, our sexual preference, our genders, our disabilities...,” she writes in the proposal. “A children’s play structure outdoors would not only provide our children a safe space to play, it would also help support the school’s retention of students and the acquisition of new families and students.” Award: $7,858
- Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in Political Science Virtual Discussion Group and Guest Speakers Series. Submitted by College of Arts and Sciences Political Science Professor Althea Sircar, this initiative aims to provide a space for undergraduates interested in studying the practice of politics and discovering scholarly responses to racism, anti-Blackness, and white supremacy. The group will provide community and professional support for under-represented students in the political science major, while also providing a forum for interested students across the University to learn from political science scholars who are Black, Indigenous, or persons of color. Estimated award: $6,500
- Information Security Internship and Career Path Training. Submitted by Chris Kincaid of Information Technology Services, this proposal provides an internship for an undergraduate student from an underrepresented group to train with the department in the high-demand field of information security. “Upon completion, it will be our goal for the student will be prepared to enter the workforce well prepared to begin a career in the information security field,” writes Kincaid. Award: $5,000
- Maopopo: Understanding the Native Hawaiian. Submitted by English Professor Nicole Kanahele Stutz, this project will provide a permanent display (kiosk, wall, or similar form) to address Native Hawaiian history, culture, language, practices, and values. This display will consist of both historical and contemporary texts, and allow for revising and updating. Award: $5,000
- First-Generation Study Abroad Ambassador Program. Submitted by Evelyn Lueker, Andrea Muilenberg, and Melissa Modesitt of the Study Away Office, this mentorship program supports the effort to expand opportunities for students of color to be able to experience the benefits of study abroad. This goal will be achieved through peer-led current practice analysis, participant recruitment, pre-departure programming, and reentry programming. Award: $1,500
Learn more about U of R’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.